This article is by Carolyn Henderson, the managing half of Steve Henderson Fine Art. She is a Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews and her freelance writing appears in regional newspapers, online magazines, and her humor blog, Middle-Aged Plague.
Last week I dominated our conversation by telling you all about the cool stuff I was doing on the website, and I ended by encouraging you to experiment and play with your own websites.
This week, I’m going to talk a bit about technical support, and how they were able to get me past the problems I created through pushing the wrong buttons, and what I needed to do – and not do – in order to take full advantage of their expertise.
Now if you are a patient, clear-thinking meticulous person who listens to others without interrupting and follows the advice that you are given, then go paint, because you will simply get frustrated with me. But if occasionally, you blast ahead without, well, thinking, then join me on my journey:
By the time I’m ready to call technical support, I am doing so because I messed up on something that I am right in the middle of doing, and I want it fixed NOW. For this reason, I tend to inarticulately blurt out what I need, and, when the technician asks questions or starts to explain how to climb out of my particular hole, I interrupt. Repeatedly.
There are several life lessons I am slowly, very slowly, absorbing through all this:
1. I seriously need to calm down. Years of living with teenagers is bringing it home to me that either they will calm down, or I will. I guarantee you that Option 1 is not happening anytime soon.
2. While I'm connecting to my inner, peaceful self, I may as well check out the Frequently Asked Questions first. While my problem may seem absolutely unique to me, other people may have walked this road before.
3. I'll do everyone a favor by identifying to myself - so that I can write or verbalize to the technician - what my problem is. The technicians at FASO can call up and review the page that is causing me angst; they cannot, however, read my mind, so unless I can articulate why I am weeping, we will be at an impasse.
4. The first thing the technicians will do is ask me a lot of questions. Believe me, I know my project, and all its problems, intimately, but the technician has only just heard of it, and the questions he/she asks helps him/her figure out the next step.
5. Just because it's quiet doesn't mean that the technician has hung up, walked away, or picked up "Pride and Prejudice." I don’t know why I can’t accept that people need time to think. And the tapping that I am hearing is their working on the keyboard, not drumming their fingers against the desk. Actually, I’m drumming my fingers against my desk, and I need to take a deep breath and a sip of tea. (Afterwards, I may spend a few minutes with “Pride and Prejudice.”)
6. In the same way that I would never make a recipe without reading through the whole thing first, I need to listen to (if we're on the phone) or completely read (e-mail) the answer that I am given. Believe me, the FASO technicians write amazingly complete instructions.
7. More on that listening part: I have had several technicians walk me through a process at a rate that seems, to my irritatingly impatient personality, screamingly slow, but when I curbed my edginess and followed along, I found them taking me places I didn’t know existed. “Oh,” I have said more than once, amazingly bereft of speech, because I suspended preconceptions and just walked at the pace the technician set.
I have never had a FASO technician snap at me, express impatience, or give a long, drawn out sigh. There has never been the faintest expression of, “What have you DONE?”
What has happened is a learning curve on my part, because the more I have listened, the more I have learned from people who articulate themselves well, generously share their knowledge at the level I can grasp it, and genuinely want to see my project succeed. Each change I make adds knowledge to what I picked up from the project before, as well as customizes our website to meet our marketing, client, business, and personal needs.